Statistics show that more and more older adults are seeking a higher education. These are people who may have been out of school for years. Now they want to pick up a few college credits to improve their job performance, or get a degree and completely change their careers. When they were younger, they would have most likely received assistance paying for college from their parents, but that isn’t an option now. If this situation sounds familiar, than taking advantage of an adult learning grant can help.
A grant is not a loan. Instead, it’s money that’s awarded to students. This money may come from private individuals, businesses, the federal government, or from the university or college you plan on attending. Also, be sure to check to see if your current employer offers any type of continuing education grants for employees. As long as you plan on staying with your current employer, and will take classes to improve your job performance, then you should qualify if your employer offers such grants.
The nice thing about grants is that, by definition, you don’t have to pay them back. Each has it’s own qualifications that you’ll have to meet, but don’t worry because there are tons of grants out there, from a variety of sources and available for a variety of reasons. Here are some of the more well-known adult learning grants.
The Pell Grant is provided by the US government. You must be a citizen, have an income below $50,000 and be enrolled at a school that takes part in the grant program. The amount given out ranges from $1,000 to $5,500 for each year you qualify. The less income you have, the higher your grant will be. The easiest way to apply is by filling out the free form at the FAFSA website. The deadline is usually July 1st of the year you’re applying for.
The Federal Supplemental Education Opportunity Grant (FSEOG) is a grant that is designed to supplement the Pell Grant. Those who receive Pell grants are the first to get the FSEOG, and ranges from $200 to $4,000 for each year. The qualifications for the FSEOG are basically the same as for Pell grants.
If you are a woman then you may qualify for an adult learning grant from the Janetter Rankin Foundation (get more info at rankinfoundation.org). Besides being female, you have to be 35 or older, meet income eligibility requirements, going to a participating school, pursuing certain courses of study, and be trying to earn an associate or bachelor’s degree. If you do qualify you can get up to $2,000 per year.
Some colleges and universities also offer their own adult learning grant to older students. Each school offers different grants, and you will have to meet any qualifications that are required for each grant you are trying to get. While grants may not be enough to pay for 100% of your schooling, they can add up and help to make it much more affordable.